October tends to be a month focused on “fear”, so let’s make this month a “No Fear November!” We are going to spend some time conquering some fears that can plague us in life… fear of failure, rejection, commitment, and the future.
The fear of failure can cause all kinds of problems in life. It can cause us to play it safe or make us workaholics and perfectionists; it can cause us to lose motivation or to be indecisive; it can create lots of pressure and stress! We don’t want to live like that! To help us get past the fear of failure, let’s learn something about success from God’s words to Joshua when he took the lead of the Israelites following Moses’ death.
Can you imagine following a legend like Moses? Joshua was the man God called to lead the Israelites into the promised land after Moses’ death. Moses had been a remarkable, faithful, patient leader of the Israelites for 40 years! When Joshua took the lead, do you think he might have been at least a little unsure, uncertain, insecure, maybe even fearing failure? He must have and God knew it, which is why the Lord assured Joshua that He would be “prosperous and successful!” (Joshua 1:8). In Joshua 1:1-9, we discover five essentials for success! When we understand and apply these essentials, like Joshua, we won’t need to fear failure, but instead, we can experience success! God didn’t create you to subsist; He created you for success!
1) Recognize that everything you have is a gift from God. (Joshua 1:3). The Lord would give Joshua and the Israelites the promised land. Do you realize God has given you the tools you need for success - including your hands and mind you use to achieve and provide! (James 1:17). Notice too that God promised Joshua “every place he set his foot.” Joshua was successful because he set his foot where God wanted, directed and commanded. Sometimes you can wrongly think that you have failed because you don’t have what others have or haven’t achieved as others have; but the truth is, that may not be where God wants you to “set our foot.” That kind of thinking can also cause you to not appreciate what God has given you! Which makes the next essential so important…
2) Seek God’s plan for you! (Joshua 1:4). Go exactly where God is leading you to “set your foot.” Did you know God has a specific plan for you? Some miss His plan because they are too busy pursuing their plans and ambitions. Jesus taught about that. (Read Luke 9:57-62). He wanted His followers to know that there are plenty of “good” things to do in this world, but following Him is always “best.” Paul echoed the same truth. (1 For. 10:23). Do you need to cut back, or even cut out, some distractions to assure that you are going where God is leading?
3) Trust God to go with you daily, to protect you and to help you carry on! (Joshua 1:5). You are not in this alone! God promises to go with you. The devil would love to cause you to be overwhelmed with fear of failure, but knowing that the Lord is with you, protecting you, encouraging you, supporting you is a faith essential! Remember the promise Jesus makes to help you carry your burdens? (Matt. 11:28-30). Are you leaning on Him these days? Trusting Him to help carry the load?
4) Find your confidence and courage as a leader from the Lord. (Joshua 1:6). God placed Joshua in this vital leadership role and He promised him courage to succeed! He offers you the courage you need to succeed in your vital leadership roles! Don’t be discouraged, but instead find your courage in Him! (Hebrews 12:1). Where are you getting the confidence and courage you need to succeed?
5) Follow and obey God’s Word without exception! (Joshua 1:7). This one is perhaps the most important essential for success. The longer I live, the more vital I see this truth. No doubt many fail because they attempt to do life their way, not God’s way. They are veering from left to right and wondering why they can’t succeed. When we start doing life our way, we end up in the ditch! (Psalm 119:1-3). Are you committed to following God’s Word, without qualification, reservation or exception?
The truth is we have all failed. Yep, the secret is out. The Bible calls our failure, “sin.” 20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20. The only failure we need to fear is the failure to receive God’s grace! 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God… Hebrews 12:15. Thank God for His amazing grace! 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
For much more, listen to No Fear! Part 1 - Failure.